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What is Perforomist®?

By Debra Durkee
Updated May 17, 2024
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Perforomist®, also known as formoterol fumarate, is a medication used to treat individuals with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Individuals are typically advised to administer a dose of the drug once every 12 hours, taking it via a special inhaler called a nebulizer. The chemicals in the medication work by relaxing muscles and helping the airways to open.

A unique type of medication, Perforomist® comes in a liquid-filled capsule form. This capsule is inserted into an inhaler, which then punctures the capsule in order to release the mist of medication contained inside. The individual breathes in through the inhaler, drawing the mist into the airways and lungs. A medical professional will instruct users as to the proper dosing. For those whose symptoms are worse or present only during periods of exercise, it may be prescribed for use before those times.

COPD is an umbrella term that includes the breathing disorders emphysema and chronic bronchitis, often with both conditions present in the same individual. Emphysema occurs when the lungs lose their elasticity, while chronic bronchitis is characterized by a swelling of the tissues in the pulmonary system. While Perforomist® does not cure the disease, it has been found to make it easier for individuals to breathe and to alleviate symptoms such as a chronic cough, shortness of breath during exercise, and tightness in the throat and chest. Perforomist® acts to help restore functionality to the airways and to minimize swelling. Most individuals find relief from symptoms in a matter of minutes after taking the medication.

Occasionally, Perforomist® will be prescribed for asthma. This is usually only in severe cases that have not been successfully managed by other medications, as there are risks associated with using the medication for this condition. It can increase the risks of severe asthma attacks as well as asthma-related death, and is typically prescribed in conjunction with other medications. Additional medications can sometimes be prescribed for those taking Perforomist® for COPD as well.

Medical professionals may warn against the consumption of some dairy products as well as caffeine for individuals who are taking Perforomist®. Some may develop side effects such as headaches, trembling, insomnia, fatigue, and nervousness, but these typically pass once the body adjusts to the medication. Severe side effects that should be reported to a health professional include an erratic heartbeat, swelling in various parts of the body, chest pain, or the development of a rash or hives.

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